Sunday, February 24, 2008


After a few days break to recuperate, I was back on the mat this morning in Sugano-sensei's class.

It was great to see Sugano-sensei. He had been nursing his leg recently. He seems now to be in fine fettle.

Sugano-sensei likes to stress maiai and today he was positively chatty on the subject. We started off with katatedori kokyunage backstretch, and I guess he didn't like that some were doing it staticly (is that a word? ;) He didn't like it that some nage were letting uke grab and set before nake would start to move. This naturally led into the concept of distance and maiai. Sensei mentioned that the idea of maiai is not only the distance between nage and uke but also awareness of one's surroundings.

From there, we changed to yokomenuchi and did a few throws. I guess these would be called kokyu thows also. Nage enters and either completes the throw by extending through the chin; atemi-extending through the chin and then cut to the elbow, or irimi and step through. That last one may be irimi nage omote. But for the others... in aikido, when in doubt, it's kokyu. ;)

We then went to yokomenuchi and nage enters and dives down to sweep one or both legs. This was a great technique to practice, but there really was no room to do it in partners. Strangely enough, we did the above techniques in groups, but switched to partners for this one.

Of course, we ended with irimi nage and kokyuho. That's a rule in Sugano-sensei's classes.

But the best news of the day was my returning health! After only a few days of antibiotic, I felt like my old self again on the mat. Admittedly, do to the crowding, it wasn't a heavy workout, but I could tell the difference. No more gasping for breath and needing water after 2o or 30 minutes. I felt quite steady during the entire class. I only hope this stays that way...

The photo above is Sugano-sensei and me at Yamada-sensei's birthday party last week. I guess the photographer didn't check and notice he had his eyes closed. On well, anyway, it's the only photo of the two of us I have at the moment.

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